Ndidi Unfazed About Being Named One Of Africa’s Best

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Super Eagles midfielder Wilfred Ndidi on Saturday said he was not excited by the recognition accorded him by the Technical Study Group (TSG) at the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) in Cameroon.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Ndidi was among another list of the Super Eagles players who made it to the list of Best Players of the Group Stage at the 2021 AFCON.

Super Eagles’ wing forward Moses Simon also made the list following his superlative performances for his team.

The competition’s Technical Study Group (TSG), while releasing their Best of the Group Stage on Saturday, picked the Nigerian for the left forward position in the Best Eleven.

He was picked ahead of Egypt’s Mohamed Salah and Senegal’s Sadio Mane who could only make it to the substitutes bench on the list.

NAN also reports that Simon’s teammate and captain, William Troost-Ekong, also made the list, being named for the right side of the centre-back positions.

Coach Austine Eguavoen was also recognised for his team’s performance of winning all their three games so far by being named the Best Coach of the group stage which ended on Thursday.

Nigeria’s midfielder Wilfred Ndidi gestures during a press conference in Garoua, January 22, 2022, on the eve of the Africa Cup of Nations (CAN) football match between Nigeria and Tunisia. (Photo by Daniel Beloumou Olomo / AFP)

On the recognition by the TSG, Ndidi said he wasn’t really excited about the accolade, adding that he was more focused on the game and helping the team achieve the desired goals.

“I don’t really bother about these things.

“I just want to play football, enjoy the game, improve myself and try to help the team.

Also speaking on the difference between the 2019 team and the current team, Ndidi noted that though the team was still the same, however, the mentality and style had changed.

“It is the same team, but different philosophy. It’s just the fact that our current manager (Augustine Eguavoen) made us understand and made everything simple and basic.

“To just believe in ourselves and also gave us the push and the freedom to express ourselves. But in as much as we have that freedom, we have to also play for the team.

“So, that’s the difference between 2019 and this team,” he said.

Nigeria will file out with three wins in three from their group phase campaign in a win-or-burst AFCON round of 16 encounters against the Carthage Eagles of Tunisia at the Stade Roumdé Adjia in Garoua, Cameroon.

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